Becoming a Rails Girls Summer of Code Coaching Company

Rails Girls Summer of Code teams spend three months working on and contributing to valuable Open Source projects. To do this they need a place where they can work. And that is where our Coaching Companies come in.

Being a Rails Girls Summer of Code Coaching Company is more than just providing students with a desk to work at. Students benefit from having access to experienced developers they can go to for advice and from experiencing an inclusive company culture and safe space.

Any company with a respectful and inclusive culture, desk space, a good internet connection, and a team of developers happy to share their knowledge can make a good Coaching Company. Some select companies who have been Coaching Companies in the past are Absolventa, Travis CI, SoundCloud, NIRD, GitHub, 6Wunderkinder.

If you are considering becoming one of our Coaching Companies, this guide will help you figure out what this role entails.

Coaching Company Guide

What does a Coaching Company do?

A coaching company provides a home for a team for three months including:

  • a dedicated space in an office from July to September,
  • available coaches for questions and support,
  • an inclusive culture and safe space.
Coaching Company SoundCloud (Image: Team RapidFTR)

For three months, you will share your office space with two new and motivated developers. You will introduce them to your working culture and support them throughout their journey. The teams are required to have at least two dedicated local coaches, which you will be asked to provide.

How you structure the day-to-day work with your Rails Girls Summer of Code team is totally up to you. You can have daily stand-ups, weekly meetings, invite them to have lunch with your own team of developers, ask them to join meetups, workshops etc.

The teams will additionally have access to our #helpdesk Slack channel where they can get help from a team of remote coaches who are available for all RGSoC teams.

Why should we become a Coaching Company?

Coaching Company NIRD (Image: Team Exercistas)

There are plenty of good reasons to become a coaching company, among them, giving back to the developer community and helping create a more diverse Open Source contributor network.

However, one of the best parts of being a Coaching Company is the huge amount of organic publicity your company receives through being a part of Rails Girls Summer of Code. Coaching Companies get a lot of love from the community; tweets, blog posts, personal recommendations from participants, mentions at conferences, events and many more.

A Coaching Company has a very direct effect on the lives and projects of participants. Supporting them makes your company extremely attractive to potential hires, conference organizers, tech bloggers, journalists and media outlets.

Here are some select blog posts from 2013, the very first year of the program, to help illustrate what it means to support a team as a Coaching Company:

Where are Coaching Companies located?

Rails Girls Summer of Code is an international initiative, and our participants work on their projects all over the world. Consequently, Coaching Companies can be located anywhere in the world as well.

In fact, we explicitly encourage companies from all over the world to get involved as participants should have the support of a local company — and we always aim to have participants from a greater variety of countries join the program. So wherever you are located, there is probably a team that could really use your support.

Locations of Teams in 2015

How do we become a Coaching Company?

To become a coaching company you first have to register your company and your coaches on our Teams App. Then there are several ways you can connect with prospective students.

  • Students who are looking for a Coaching Company can find you in the Teams App.
  • Actively look for a team in your city by reaching out to your local Rails Girls chapter (or Pyladies, WomenWhoCode, BlackGirlsCode, PHPwomen, etc.) and to development communities such as your local user groups to let them know that you’re willing to host a team.
  • Send an email to our community mailing list stating that you are offering your space and coaches. You can also spread the word by mentioning us on Twitter (@RailsGirlsSoC); we’ll retweet and help you connect with prospective students.
  • Write a blog post to get the word out about you wanting to become a coaching company: talk about your dev team, the work environment, and your motivations for wanting to host a team. We’re happy to share your post on our social networks and help you find a team!

An example of how to become a Coaching Company

Absolventa, a Berlin-based company which hosted a team during RGSoC 2013, wanted to participate again in 2016. Here are the steps they took to promote themselves to the students.

They tweeted about their intentions, including information about where they are located and which languages they can coach in:

They linked to a more detailed blog post including the following details:

  • What Rails Girls Summer of Code is,
  • Why their company wanted to host a team,
  • What they could offer to students (a desk, a team of coaches, an inclusive, safe space to work in),
  • How applicants could contact them.

What if our team is not chosen?

Teams have to apply for Rails Girls Summer of Code and we can usually only fund a small number of teams out of the many applications we get. If your team is not chosen, you are of course still welcome to create your own summer of code with two very passionate people working on a chosen OSS project. We encourage you to take the team on as interns or offer similar positions for the duration of three months.

We have more questions!

If we didn’t cover all your question here, then drop us a line! We’d be happy to talk about what you have to offer as a coaching company.